Online banking has made managing money easier than ever. However, it has also led most people to rely solely on digital assets.
Precious metals are a popular investment choice for people wishing to buy a tangible asset that retains its value over time. In particular, gold and silver generally maintain their value even when the stock market faces major financial fluctuations.
They also do well in times of inflation and political uncertainties. When traditional stocks fluctuate due to these external factors, precious metals only become more valuable.
Investors who prefer a hands-off approach have the option of purchasing gold and silver stocks. These stocks are traded daily just like any other stock. However, many people prefer to keep a physical store of their precious metal.
While relatively illiquid, buying physical gold and silver is typically viewed as a long-term investment. It’s certainly a practical option if you’re concerned about inflation or the future of fiat currency.
Best Places to Buy Gold and Silver Online
eBay and Craigslist are both great places to start. But unless you’re confident that you’re dealing with a reputable seller, you might want to look into other sites that specialize in precious metals.
To help you find the best place to buy gold and silver, we’ve compiled a list of the best online gold dealers.
Money Metals Exchange
Money Metals Exchange, or MoneyMetals.com, has received several accolades, including the “Best Overall Gold Dealer” by Investopedia.
Silver Gold Bull
Silver Gold Bull offers a suite of services for their customers. In addition to buying and selling through the company’s website, you can also store your hard assets in their secure facilities.
With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Gainesville Coins has been keeping customers happy for more than ten years.
Golden State Mint
Golden State Mint is a trusted source for premium precious metal products, providing buyers direct access to top-notch items straight from the manufacturer.
What started as a precious metals trade show business has launched into one of today’s largest online bullion dealers.
APMEX (American Precious Metals Exchange)
APMEX is one of the largest online dealers in the world, which allows it to pass along savings to its customers. This is due to the sheer volume of business it does each day. Not only can you buy silver, gold, and other metals, you can also sell or trade from your current holdings.
The selection is huge, covering the major precious metals, historic gold coins, “elite” coins, old banknotes, and foreign coins. It also has an extensive collectibles section with rare coins and currency from around the world.
Scottsdale Mint (formerly Scottsdale Silver) focuses on silver and gold while also offering each in different collectible series. They sell both types of metal in coins, bullion bars, and rounds, with a particular premium set on artistic minting.
For example, some recent popular collectible sets include a Vikings series and a Godfather set featuring images from the iconic movie franchise.
To qualify for free shipping with insurance, you must make a minimum purchase of $500. This may seem steep compared to some other companies providing free shipping at $99. However, much of the allure of Scottsdale Mint comes from the company’s creative minting process.
Shipping is free on all JM Bullion orders over $199. They sell physical gold, silver, platinum, and other bullion that arrive directly at your door. They inspect every inventory item to ensure only quality products are sold. Payment options include Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, PayPal Credit, bank wires, paper checks, and Bitcoin.
JM Bullion is fully accredited at both state and federal levels. They also have reliable customer service that you can reach via phone or 24-hour Live Chat. Sign up for email, and they will mail you exclusive sales and promotions.
Kitco has many precious metal types, including gold, silver, palladium, platinum, and rhodium.
The website also provides a slew of data and news to help you with your portfolio decisions. You can even download apps for gold news, market alerts, and scrap value calculations for your smartphone.
As its name implies, GoldSilver solely sells gold bars, coins, and jewelry and silver bars and coins. They also sell products such as safes and storage containers. You can also create an account to sell back your gold bullion, gold coins, and silver bars through the website.
There’s a flat rate shipping fee of $25 for any order under $500. Otherwise, shipping, handling, and insurance are free. In addition to traditional payment options, GoldSilver also accepts PayPal.
Don’t be fooled by the name. While Silver.com could be the best place to buy silver online, they also sell various gold, platinum, and copper products. In addition to government mints, you can also find gold coins, gold bullion, silver coins, silver bars, and more from private domestic and foreign mints.
The order threshold for free shipping is high at $3,000, but their tiered flat rate shipping fees are reasonable. Smaller orders up to $299 cost just $4.95 for shipping and insurance. The highest tier of orders from $1,000 to $2,999 cost just $9.95.
Silver, gold, platinum, and copper comprise SD Bullion’s core product line, with coins, bars, and rounds from around the world.
They also sell lead bullion in the form of ammo as well as vaults, survival food, and herbal medicine. In addition, SD Bullion offers weekly specials and currently has a promotion for all orders shipped at just $7.77.
Texas Precious Metals
Texas Precious Metals offers several unique features, including the ability to sign up for limit orders. For example, you can automatically place a standing order if gold or silver reaches your desired value.
All orders ship for free using UPS Next Day Air, and all orders ship within three business days of payment. The website offers a curated selection of gold coins, gold bars, silver coins, silver bars, and pre-1933 gold.
Golden Eagle Coins
Golden Eagle Coins is a place for gold and silver investors and collectors alike. Take one look at their website, and you’ll see why — their inventory is enormous.
Prices are updated in real time as their quotes come directly from the commodities exchange. This is a great site to use if you are researching when to buy.
Shipping is free on orders $99 and over. Also, be sure to check out their bi-monthly blog for new items and savings.
Quoted on CNN, CNBC, and PBS, Gold Dealer offers a complimentary newsletter written by industry masterminds Ken Edwards and Richard Schwary.
They have a physical office moments away from LAX. However, if you don’t want to travel to Los Angeles, you can visit website instead. It has everything you’d expect from a reputable gold dealer.
Gold Dealer offers free, insured shipping on every order. Their low prices are the result of reducing operating expenses over time.
Monarch Precious Metals
Monarch Precious Metals is a newer company established in 2008 to help with the immense public demand for gold bullion. They only use quality metals, so anything you buy from them will be .999+ fine.
They triple-check the weight of every bar they ship. If it is ever underweight, they re-melt it. If it’s ever overweight, it’s a win-win for you because they always let it pass and ship it as is.
Everything is custom hand-poured and marked in the old way, giving their metals a unique, old-fashioned look. They accept all methods of payment except PayPal, and every order is properly insured.
CMI: Gold & Silver
An A+ Accredited Business, CMI is located in Phoenix, Arizona. However, CMI will buy and sell precious metals online to investors all over the United States.
Its president, Bill Haynes, considers it his responsibility to educate the public about the dangers and benefits of buying gold and silver products.
He regularly updates his blog on global factors that influence the prices of metals. It’s a helpful resource for determining when to buy.
With solid prices, IRAs, and a plethora of educational material to read, CMI should be a website you routinely check if you are a serious investor.
BGASC: Buy Gold and Silver Coins
With thousands of positive customer reviews, it’s not hard to realize why BGASC is an A+ BBB accredited business. They offer free shipping on orders $99 and up. Every order is insured while in transit. Additionally, they always ship your order the next business day.
BGASC is one of the largest coin and bullion dealers in the US. They sell nearly every type of US coin ever made. They also have a large selection of mints from other countries, such as China, Mexico, and Canada.
The Basics of Precious Metals
Before buying gold or silver, it’s important to understand the different forms they come in. Each type has its pros and cons. Some people focus on one kind they prefer, while others create a diverse mix of different kinds. Before you buy precious metals, figure out which strategy is best for you.
Let’s start by talking about silver. Typically, you can buy silver either in the form of bullion or junk silver. Silver bullion refers to silver as a bar, coin, ingot, or round.
The most popular silver coins you’ll come across are as follows:
- American Silver Eagle
- Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
- British Silver Britannia
- Mexican Silver Libertad
- Austrian Silver Philharmonic
- South African Silver Krugerrand
- Australian Silver Kangaroo
- Chinese Silver Panda
Junk silver, on the other hand, is any type of old U.S. currency containing real silver. Any U.S. half-quarters, quarters, or dimes minted before 1965 are considered junk silver. However, in reality, they aren’t very junky at all.
You can sometimes find junk silver below the spot price. This can often allow you to start with a profit on your investment.
Silver rounds are privately minted silver pieces shaped like coins but produced by private mints. They are not government minted or legal tender, so they are not referred to as coins. The most popular silver round is the American Silver Buffalo. However, Scottsdale Mint also produces some beautiful rounds called “Omnia.”
Gold also comes in bars and coins, each one giving you a different type of entry point into precious metal investing. Buying gold coins is the easiest way for gold investors to start because you can begin by just purchasing a few at a low price point.
The most popular gold coins to buy are as follows:
- American Gold Eagle
- Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
- British Gold Britannia
- British Gold Queen’s Beast
- Mexican Gold Libertad
- Austrian Gold Philharmonic
- South African Gold Krugerrand
- Australian Gold Kangaroo
- Chinese Gold Panda
Similar to silver rounds, the most popular is the American Gold Buffalo.
Perhaps you’re stocking up as a hedge against inflation or to use as currency in a potential crisis. If so, you’ll find that coins of any type (gold or silver) will be easier to barter with than bars.
If you decide to buy bars, you can get them in different sizes to suit your space or budget. For example, you can purchase 1 to 10-ounce gold bars or up to 100-ounce silver bars. You can even find bars at just a fraction of an ounce if you want to start small.
One of the most significant advantages of this tactic is that you get the lowest premium when you buy larger bars. So while they might not be as easy to sell when you’re ready, you’ll get a better value if you can make that large of an investment upfront.
While silver and gold are the most popular, there are other precious metals to consider as well. For example, copper also comes in bars, rounds, and coins and is very affordable for novice investors.
Some experts believe it’s a wise investment opportunity because of its rising demand and shrinking supply.
Platinum and Palladium
Platinum is perhaps the most precious of all metals. It’s 15x rarer than gold, and its value exceeds that of gold. Platinum is usually sold as coins minted in the U.S., Canada, or Australia.
Palladium is similar to platinum in its properties and is actually 30x rarer than gold. Because these metals are so rare, not many people invest in them. However, a growing number of investors are adding them to their portfolios. It’s something you may want to consider as well.
Gold and Silver: Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best place to buy gold?
The two best places to buy gold are online retailers and local coin shops.
Online retailers, such as the ones we’ve listed above, offer a wide selection of gold coins, bars, and rounds at competitive prices. These retailers often offer free shipping and insurance, making it easy and convenient to buy gold from the comfort of your own home.
Local coin shops are another great option if you want to prefer gold in person. These shops often have a knowledgeable staff who can help you find the right gold products for your needs and budget. You may also be able to negotiate on price of the gold.
Where is the best place to buy silver?
The best place to buy silver is typically also the best place to buy gold: online dealers and local shops. These options provide a wide range of products to choose from and allow you to compare prices and quality before making a purchase.
Online dealers offer the convenience of shopping from home, while local shops provide the advantage of in-person interaction with knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions and guide you towards the right products for your investment goals.
Whether you want to buy silver coins or silver bars, these options typically offer competitive prices, flexible shipping policies, and convenient payment options.
We recommend checking out at least a few of the best online gold dealers we mentioned above, regardless of what your needs are. Compare prices, selection, and shipping policies on numerous sites.
What is the cheapest way to buy gold and silver?
The most cost-effective method of acquiring gold and silver is by buying bars. They tend to have smaller markups compared to spot prices compared to coins, due to their lower production costs.
Buying in bulk is also a smart way to lower the cost per ounce as many online dealers offer discounts for larger purchases.
Is it safe to buy gold and silver online?
Buying precious metals online is as safe as any other transaction you make online. It’s also just as safe to buy online is as it is to buy from a physical retailer. The key is to buy gold and silver from a reputable gold dealer.
Is it better to buy gold coins or bars?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on your situation, your needs, your budget, and what you prefer. As mentioned, it’s typically cheaper to buy gold bars. However, you will most likely get a better value from gold coins when it comes time to sell your gold.
Gold and silver coins and small bars offer more flexibility when it comes time to sell. Owning smaller units of gold and silver allows you to sell only a portion of your precious metals instead of your whole portfolio.
How much gold and silver should I own?
Experts recommend holding 5-25% of your net worth in precious metals. However, it depends on your goals, your situation, and risk tolerance. Precious metals can be a great addition to your portfolio as long as you know why you’re adding it.
Can I store gold at home?
Storing gold in your home offers a sense of security and privacy for your valuable assets. As a form of wealth preservation, it provides complete control without the need for outside storage. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of potential security threats and to ensure your assets are adequately insured.
To mitigate these risks, it’s advisable to implement a secure storage system. Ultimately, home storage is a viable solution for individuals who value personal ownership and control of their gold holdings.